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When Captain Gustavo de Oliveira Pascotto flew Gripen for the first time in 2015, he was very impressed with the way Gripen managed pilot work load. "What I liked the most was the highly advanced human-machine interface," he said.

Pascotto was one of the first few Brazilian pilots who left Anápolis for F7 in Såtenäs to learn all about the future fighter of their Air Force and pass on this knowledge to their colleagues and newly qualified Gripen instructors.

Fast forward to today, and more than 140 professionals have been trained in Sweden till date. They have already returned to Brazil, and most of them are working at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN).

Today, there is an excitement amongst everyone at the Brazilian Air Force about the arrival of new fighters with people eagerly waiting for Gripen to become operational in Brazil.

“There is a desire and a thrill that has not been seen for a long time. Today we have a group dedicated to studying this aircraft, which asks us a lot of questions. The pilots know they will have the opportunity to operate a modern machine that will enable them to complete their missions successfully. FAB is restructuring and training the squadron to operate Gripen,” says Lieutenant Colonel Renato Leal Leite.

Those who have flown it never forget it. “Flying Gripen was challenging, rewarding and an operational crowning experience,” says Major Gustavo Pascotto.

Teams are working diligently ...

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Saab has appointed former Gripen test pilot and Head of Saab Malaysia, Ola Rignell, as the new Chairman & Managing Director of Saab India Technology Pvt. Ltd. 

Before handling operations in Malaysia, he was the director of Business Development, Aviation Training at Support & Services, Saab AB. He is also member of the Board at Saab Airport AB. 

Ola is a highly experienced pilot who has logged in more than 2,500 flight hours in different Swedish fighters including Saab’s Draken, Viggen and Gripen. He has also flown other fighter aircraft such as the F-16, Tornado, Hawk and Harrier. Apart from fighters, he has logged in more than 1,500 flight hours on civilian flight operations. 

As a former pilot, Ola has been extensively involved in Sweden’s Gripen programme where he was responsible for testing weapons, avionics, engine performance and human-machine interface. 

“Ola has the experience and the expertise which will enable Saab to further strengthen our work in the country and take forward our unbroken relationship of over 40 years. We are committed to building next-generation defence and security capabilities in India. Together with Indian government and industry, we would like to develop new ways to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” says Dean Rosenfield, Head of Saab Market Area Asia Pacific.

At a time when Saab is deeply involved in multiple activities in the Indian market, Ola’s appointment only reinforces the company’s commitment to the country. 

Read full story here.

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Saab and the Brazilian Air Force’s purchasing organisation (COPAC) have decided to go for new amendments to the Gripen Brazil offset agreement, reports Cavok.com

The latest updates will result in changes to 13 projects under Transfer of Technology and Industrial Cooperation agreement. The changes have been proposed to meet the latest requirements in the fields of armament integration, assembly of structure components of Gripen fuselage etc.

The document approving the changes was signed by Göran Almquist, deputy programme manager for Gripen in Brazil and Brigadier General Márcio Bruno Bonotto, the president of COPAC.

"So far, all our expectations have been met. Everything is going as per schedule. 50% of the technology transfer initiatives have been completed. This demonstrates the confidence that FAB and Saab have in each other," says General Márcio Bruno Bonotto.

The offset agreement, which is a part of the Gripen contract, was signed by Saab and the Brazilian government in 2014.

One of the major milestones of this offset program was the establishment of the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) in 2016. More than a 100 engineers, out of which 90 are local, are currently working at GDDN. The next big step would be the he setting up of an aerostructure plant in São Bernardo do Campo, in Greater São Paulo by 2020.  

Read the full story here.

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Brazil's Anápolis Air Base, which will be the first Air Base in the country to receive Gripen E, is undergoing several changes ahead of the fighter's arrival.

"We are working on the enlargement of the yard, construction of hangars, and renovation of facilities. There are several other processes as well," says Brazilian Air Force (FAB) Commander Colonel Antônio Marcos Mioni.

Brazil announced the selection of 36 Gripen fighters for its Air Force on 27 October 2014. The contract covered not just the delivery of these aircraft, but a technology transfer agreement as well that aimed at the development of an independent, advanced defence industrial base in Brazil.

As per the report, 32 out of the total 36 Gripen fighters will be based at Ala 2 Anápolis Air Base. The Air Base will also house two KC-390 freighter units.

Read the full story here.

​As the Brazilian Air Force goes through an extensive restructuring process, the Gripen E programme is all set to deliver significant operational leaps.

Located in the city of São Bernardo do Campo in São Paulo, SAM will be one of the main future production plants under the Brazil gripen programme. So what will be its exact role? Watch the video to find out.

​For someone like Julia who always wanted to build something, a career as an assembly operator at Saab has been a great learning experience. 

Drilling machines in different shapes and sizes is the most common tool used at the stations. Julia has always been careful and precise. And these qualities come in handy while using these machines while building the central fuselage, the biggest part of Gripen E. 

What is the role of GAC-Saab in the Brazilian Gripen Program? Created in October 2015, the GAC-Saab is indispensable to monitor and control the contracts relating to the acquisition of 36 fighters.

Saab recently announced the launch of RBS15 Gungnir next generation anti-ship missile system at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018.

While Gungnir may look like one of the previous RBS15 versions from the outside, its capabilities are more advanced. More than a mere anti-ship missile, it gives Gripen all-weather capability and operational flexibility like never before.

Gungnir is offered in both air-launched and surface-launched configurations, and has an increased range of more than 300 km. Since it is a flexible launch platform, it can conduct coordinated attacks with multiple missiles against a wide range of naval and land-based targets.

The missile system also promises complete maneuverability without any dependence on GPS or data link. Gungnir is not just made for today's littoral environment, but can also be integrated with pre-existing RBS15 infrastructure to adapt the system for future.

The name Gungnir is from Scandinavian mythology and refers to the Norse god Odin’s spear which never missed its target. RBS15 Gungnir is the system level name whilst in the air-launched configuration the missile is called the RBS15 Mk4 Air.

Test pilots say they have the best job in the world. What do you think? Here, Mikael Olsson who is a test pilot, tells you what it is like to evaluate and test the Gripen fighter. 

Before he became a Gripen test pilot, Mikael used to be a pilot for the Swedish Air Force. After serving a number of years in the SwAF, he found himself at Saab, facing new challenges and learning new things. As a test pilot, Mikael’s job responsibilities include conducting test flights to check the in-flight operations and capabilities of Gripen. Apart from flying, he spends a lot of time at design meetings, sharing his knowledge, experience and expertise as a pilot with development engineers, helping them devise design solutions and take decisions.

There are two segments into which test flights are divided – experimental test flights and system test flights. In experimental flights, the physical capabilities and limits of the aircraft are put to the test, such as checking stability during supersonic flight, or checking the highest achievable speed at maximum load capacity. In system test flights, tactical features of the fighter such as sensors, weaponry, communication and EW capabilities are examined.

“Being a part of developing a highly advanced and modern fighter just like the Gripen is something very rare and unique, and it’s a dream for many engineers and pilots, and for me, that dream is reality”, says Mikael.

Watch the full interview here.

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